Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas from Diana

I wanted to  let you know that I'm still here and will return to blogging very early in the New Year
and wish you all a peaceful Christmas season  filled with family, friends and good food. Oh and presents too !!

                                               Merry Christmas dear readers and fellow bloggers!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Designed by Diana Dress (With a Little Help From Burda)

Well, I've been away for quite a while I guess. I've been and still am very sick because of allergies symptoms which affect my respirator system. I thought once colder weather appeared, I'd feel better but I guess my immune system has been compromised . Even writing a post is almost overwhelming right now

 BUT!!!!! I've been able to sew all this time because my sewing room, which is in the basement of our house, has become my haven/prison. It's the only place where I'm not affected and where I get relief. Almost all of the sewing I did in October was for Good Will. and I did a lot of it. I'll show you next time .

A while back, I received  a  complimentary issue of both  My image and Be Trendy magazine and the company , Made By Oranges,  based in the Netherlands,  kindly offered a 25% discount to  any of my readers who wished to subscribe to either My Image or Be Trendy (the adorable children's version ).
Use discount code PASSIONISTA to get your 25% savings.
Each magazine includes 20 or so  patterns and include 3 pdfs (down loadable ) patterns. I'm in the process of using one of the patterns for dresses for Riley and Poppy. Very cute!!!

It took me about six weeks from beginning to end to make the dress I'm showing you today, working on it a little at a time and I love the results. I designed it myself with a little inspiration from the photo below. (not sure where it came from ) and with the help of this Burda pattern.

The fabric is a ponte print from my stash and bought at Fabricville with real leather accents cut from a Michael Kors skirt bought at Value Village. The grosgrain ribbon with grommets trim,  I bought on Rue Saint Hubert in Montreal a couple of years ago. And Voila!

A close-up of the leather and trim details. I applied the leather shoulder sections over the  fabric then the grommet trim overlapping the edge of the leather. Believe me my friends, I used a lot  of Wonder Tape for this project.

If yo not familiar with Wonder Tape, it's a wash away two way tape
that is very useful for placements when you're not sure where you want to place them because you can move the around before you decide.

I added leather trimmed patch pockets and repeated the shoulder details at the cuffs. For the sleeve I used  a poly ottoman from my stash because of it's dark black shade .

I added the same shoulder details in the back as well as an exposed zipper, a look  which I love.

For my dress I used my Burda sloper developed from Burda 6988. I changed the skirt to a slight A-line  shape for a change from the pencil skirt shape I most often use. I have to say that I'm very happy with the fit of this piece. It's as perfect as I'm ever going to achieve I think.

I wore my new dress to church Sunday and felt like a million dollars. I guess I felt so great to get out of the house. My husband said it was a shame to cover up the dress but I took off the coat at the restaurant afterward.

I'm very happy to finally get back to blogging. I'm still quite weak from my above mentioned allergy problems and I'm  a little worried I won't be able to go to Ottawa for my Riley's 7th birthday in two weeks and so is she!!!!

I hope it won't be as long before my next post. I want to share a special wrap I made and sold to make money for the Food Bank ( so far $150.00!!)

Happy sewing dear sewing friends from

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sunburst Dart Top and Animal Print Skirt

Happy Fall Everyone! I do SO love fall, except for the new (for me) fall allergies. So not fun!

I finally got photos taken of the next part of the mini wardrobe I showed last time!

For the fourth piece I made with the light taupe rayon knit, I used my SFD bodice sloper. I moved the bust dart to the neckline and opened seven darts in a sunburst effect that I first read about in the Oct/Nov. 2006 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine,Here is the article

and here is my pattern piece. I guess I wouldn't need to have sliced my neckline in all those places. One opening would do the same thing. You measure the width of your bust dart and make your darts equal to that width. My dart is 3" so I made three darts (on each side ) 3/4' darts and one in the middle that was shared by both sides

I drew my outfit idea before  I started to cut out and sew . I find this really helpful when I'm designing my own pieces and drafting my own patterns .My idea was inspired by this Claire Underwood dress from Season 4 of House of Cards.

First the whole outfit

Here is the top which turned out really well and I love it.

Here I styled it with a self made necklace that I love.

The skirt was made using my SFD skirt sloper, I changed it to A line . For the skirt front I cut  two side panels and a center panel . I then cut the side panels to form a rather low set pocket  with a pocket band ..

And here is the skirt.

I sewed buttons on the pocket bands to highlight  the pockets. I sewed an exposed zipper to the back which I love.

The skirt fabric is stretch cotton poplin.

My husband snapped the photos just before I left for a retired teachers' meeting. .

I forgot to get one with the long cardi over it!

Well, I have two more outfits to show you where I experimented  moving the  bust dart . I'm quite over that  now and am anxious to sew something more important. like maybe finishing a moto jacket I started two years ago.

Until next time,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Special Outfit for a Special Occasion

My husband has reached a milestone birthday and I decided to simplify the celebration by hosting a dinner party for our family at a favorite restaurant. Expensive but oh so much easier than hosting yet another family get together at home !!

I admit the summer has left me tired out . Bob and I are back to our quiet life and watching lots of Netflix . Of course I'm never too tired to sew so there's been a lot of that going on.

I could have worn my reunion dress for the birthday party but I had one more outfit I wanted to make which would serve as a transition between summer and fall. It turned out to be  perfect for an occasion like this so I wore  it instead.

I 've lauded Fabricville's Milano collection of rayon jersey several times already so I'll spare you but when the 3 for 1 sale started, I bought a lot of my favorite knit . Actually, I bought the light taupe twice by mistake and so as I sewed , I kept thinking of other pieces I could make ,I ended up with four things. It was a very organized way of sewing because I didn't have to change the serger thread and I waited until all four pieces were finished before I hemmed them on my Janome Coverstitch Pro 2000 which I bought in the spring.

Here was my plan using Sally Surefit. I find this process so helpful when I don't know what to make with a certain fabric or when I'm feeling overwhelmed by my fabric stash. I don't always stick to the plan but it at least gets me started.

The first outfit didn't photograph well on the dress form. It looks much better on me and that doesn't often happen. As you can see, I didn't exactly stick to the plan.

The tunic was made using an old  and now OOP pattern

and the ankle pant with elasticized hem were  a modified version of my palazzo pant drafted from the Silhouette Yoga Pant #3400.

I love the extended shoulder and neckline of the Burda pattern. I added side slits for a little interest

It was when I had finished these two pieces that I discovered I had bought this fabric twice and I was delighted because the outfit just screamed for a long topper to wear over it.  I went to my revised version of McCall's 6844 which I've made many times because I love the simple lines of this cardigan.

I added these draped pockets from another pattern for a little visual interest.

I used my Cover Stitch to sew down the facings ( with a little help from Wonder Tape ) and my outfit was complete

I admit I was getting tired of this colour by now but I made one more piece which I'll keep for next time.

I would love to have gotten action shots at the party but that didn't happen but my DH snapped these pics just before we left. Oh and my husband  sisters loved this outfit!

And I'll leave you with a shot  I took of our deck  to check the lighting and the lovely peaceful  view we get to enjoy every day . It's so pretty I thought I'd include it.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments. They keep me wanting to blog when I get tempted to quit.

Happy Sewing from

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sewing in Outfits, (continued)

Sometimes, it makes sense to make two, three or even four piece outfits, as I did a couple of weeks ago. One reason is fabrics that coordinate but also when you know it will be hard to find anything to match exactly a certain colour such as this royal blue scuba knit  of the slim ankle pants and the  matching ponte coordinating prints of the tops and skirt..

The pattern I used for the  top is V8497, View B but lengthened by a few inches.

The pants are are slimmed down version of Silhouette Three Piece Yoga Pant ( #3000 ). I turned up the hem to form a cuff to make these just a little different.

I had a lot of fun creating as I sewed with the matching prints for this one.


The trim is actually a stripe  wrapped around the edges at the front and back and  the neck and sleeve cuff. I trimmed close to the edges and I love the results. Just a little bit of the white shows.

(The colour is really off in this pic!!!)

These two pieces are really fun together and I've loved wearing them a few of times this summer.

Ahh...these lazy days of late summer are so precious! I love everything about them.

The other pieces will have to wait for another time. I hope you've had a lovely summer, as I did .
Now on to fall sewing.

More later from

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I LOVE Yellow or A Surefit Designs Twin Set

Just a few words about my 50th High School Reunion: It was a resounding success! So much so that I forgot to get some photos taken so no action shots of me in my jumpsuit or dress but both worked very well for the events.

I'm really interested in rotating darts at the moment and have been practicing by making simple tops. For the one I'm showing today , I opened up my DD bust dart in both the shoulder and center front areas.It's a simple process if you have the patience to make a copy of a pattern and to work methodically. There's quite a bit of cutting ,spreading, and taping involved. For more details if you want them, go here to Diana's Sewing Lessons.
Here is what my pattern front looks like before and after rotating the dart.


Before starting, I used Sally Silhouette to design a top I thought would go well with last summer's fun palazzo pant. I gave the Sandra Betzina top to my DGD because it was too fitted for my taste.

I curved the CF seam at the bottom by using my Design Stylus.

I turned the hem under 5/8" in the front but for the back, I sewed a 1 1/2 " facing because I cut it a little too short

This photo is a little pale but it shows the shirring at the shoulders and CF where I opened the bust dart.

The back is just plain.

Here's an "action " shot taken at our Family get-together which we hosted.

Now as for the topper, this is what I planned to do.

I changed my mind when I started to draft the pattern and I don't love the result. The polyester lace is not drapey enough and is a little too thick to tie at the waist nicely but this is what I did to the front  bodice. pattern

Here it is with this remodeled  10 year old dress that use to look like this .

This bright yellow top goes with a lot of my bottoms , especially this Rachel Comey skirt made for my trip to Paris last September,

These white Coldwater creek jeans,

and of course my wild and crazy palazzos. ( I admit the pics are quite washed out. I didn't pay attention to the settings !!)

I'm sewing up a storm this week. My son left for home with my Riley and Poppy on Sunday . I was one tired Nana and I decided to do whatever I pleased this week so of course that was to sew!  Such fun! I'll have lots to show you next time so please come back to see me.

Happy sewing from